Namibia emerges from Fourth Wave

Martin Endjala

In today’s 40th Covid-19 briefing at State House by the Vice President Nangolo Mbumba, the Ministry of Health and Social Service Kalumbi Shangula, has announced that the fourth wave of omicron has ended. “We can now say that we have emerged from the fourth wave. However, the pandemic itself is not over,” the minister proclaimed.

The Vice President Nangolo Mbumba on his part emphasized the need to continue sensitizing the public and encouraged trade unions, youth

organization, spiritual leaders and business fraternity to continue following all Covid-19 health protocols.

The maximum persons at public gatherings has been increased from 200 to 500 people, the maximum number of spectators at contact sports

events have also been increased to 500, while restrictions on liquor sales remain the same, as well as restaurant operations.

Burials remain the same, with 500 persons with all protocols observed, and only health personnel and trained people will be allowed to handle the caskets of Covid-19 deaths.

For entry into Namibia, the Trust Travelling System negative PCR test is required for all Namibians. The New measures will be effective from the 16th February to 15th March for a period of 30 days.

As of 13 February 2022, the country recorded a total of 156 810 Covid-19 cases, out of the 938 866 samples tested.

A total number of 2 054 reinfections were recorded since 8 December 2021, while a total number of 152 027 recoveries were reported, translating into a recovery rate of 97 percent.

Active cases have dropped from 10 418 during the last briefing to 2 827 currently. However, 234 lives have been lost since the last briefing, bringing the number of deaths to 3 995 since the beginning

of the pandemic.

Although fewer cases were reported during the current period, the country recorded more deaths, and most of these were confirmed during the current dispensation.

Shangula was, however, quick to point out that ninety percent of these deaths are of unvaccinated persons.

The number of cases being reported in recent weeks is more manageable, with an average of 52 cases per day in the last seven days. During the week of the last public briefing, Shangula confirms that the daily average stood at 450 new cases per day. And as from 16 January 2022 to 13 February 2022, a period of 29 days covering the current dispensation, a total of 37 309 samples were tested, compared to 70 339 samples tested during the 29 days of the preceding dispensation.

And 2 432 new cases were confirmed giving a positivity ratio of six point five percent compared to a 24.8 percent positivity ratio during the preceding period, he concluded.

These figures indicate that the number of tests conducted decreased by 89 percent with a record decline in the number of new cases of 618 percent, while the positivity ratio decreased by 276.9 percent.

The number of deaths decreased exponentially from 240 deaths reported during the preceding 29 days to 174 deaths reported during the period of 29 days of this cycle, a decline of 37.9 percent, Shangula said.

The number of in-patients also dropped to an average of 64 per day as compared to 643 reported during the preceding 29 days. Same goes for the number of patients in Intensive Critical Units (ICU) which has dropped from 63 to 5 ICU cases by 13 February 2022.

As of, 13 February 2022, a total of 432 976 persons have received one dose of covid-19 vaccine nationally, translating into 20.7 percent of

the eligible population, of these 425 578 are person aged 18 years and above representing 28.9 percent and 7 398 are children aged 12-17

years, representing two comma four percent of this eligible population.

Collectively, 367 485 eligible persons are fully vaccinated, inclusive of 1 364 children aged 12-17 years. The average daily vaccination

uptake keeps fluctuating but remains disappointingly low at 848 new doses and 211 second doses per day.

The minister said that new scientific evidence points to the added benefit of booster vaccines. By 13 February 2022, a total number of eligible persons who have received booster doses stood at 20 874,

which is a 60% increase from 8 290 reported during the last briefing.

”We continue to implore more people to enhance their protection by going for booster vaccines,” he added.

“As stated earlier, we are experiencing fewer new cases of Covid-19 infections. The time of low cases present opportunities to reinforce our toolkit and identify further areas for improvement and strengthening” Shangula concluded.

Vice President Mbumba added that Namibians should not drop their guard, adding that the government will never compromise the Namibian people’s health, hence, people should go out in numbers to get their jabs.

By Observer